From Disobedience To Obedience:. Striving For Allah . Within

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From Disobedience to Obedience: Striving for Allah Within the Sufi texts of Hallaj and Rabi’a there is an important, and continually controversial, inclusion of heretical ideas and statements. Yet as many Sufi thinkers have argued, and that I will argue as well, these heretical ideas and statements should not be taken at face value nor do they necessarily represent heretical beliefs. Instead the heretical ideas and statements of Hallaj, Bistami, and Rabi’a can otherwise be interpreted as a form of supererogatory devotion and piety to Allah. As well, within these statements Hallaj and Rabi’a draw attention to the distractions that separate one from union with Allah. Hallaj, in his writings regarding Iblis as the lover of Allah, …show more content…

Thus, if Iblis turns away from Adam in favor of Allah is obedience, than Hallaj can construct the argument that turning away from that which considered obligatory can be piety and devotion, instead of heretical and disobedient. Hallaj’s presentation of heretical ideas can represent a turning away from distractions, even obligatory or commanded actions, as a pathway to ultimate human union with Allah. Hallaj is not endorsing disobedience for the sake of disobedience, but instead is endorsing disobedience to reveal a deeper level of piety, devotion and union that is unachievable without a turning away from the other-than. Rabi’a’s writings for my purposes within this essay will be understood within a traditional framework that assumes Rabi’a herself as the speaker, not, as most historical accounts suggest, an amalgamation of other ideas and authors within texts written centuries later. Rabi’a in her (in)famous statement: I am going to burn paradise and douse hell-fire, so that both veils may be lifted from those on the quest and they will become sincere of purpose. God’s servants will learn to see him without hope for reward or fear of punishment. As it is now, if you took away hope for reward and fear of punishment, no one would worship or obey. seemingly contradicts the majority of Qur’anic understanding of world order, or the way in which the world operates and is understood.

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